Avert Credit Card Dependence
When the cost of living rises and the economy weakens, we find ourselves hard-pressed to make ends meet each month.
Some worse cases, financially burdened as are, depend on credit cards to buy all necessities, shooting up card balances and adding the issue of higher food and energy prices – all with interest.
While you’re using credit to splurge, or for necessities, it is an expensive habit. Ponder on the following tips to help you shy away from dependence on credit cards:
> Put away your credit cards. Consider carrying cash or your debit card for daily use. Leave credit cards at home and only carry one when you plan to use it for a larger purchase or something that you have already reserved for your credit card.
> Closely watch on your budget. Create a real budget and include even the smallest expenses. As soon as you start spending your own money, it’s time to start tracking your spending so that you can create and follow a personal budget. Keeping track of expenses, while sometimes tedious, is the best way to find out exactly where your money is going. Maybe filling up at the station or picking up a few things at the grocery store were once expenses that would previously go unnoticed in your checkbook. However, with much higher prices in gas and food today, even smaller ticket items add up.
> Ignore on non-essentials. The easiest way to free up extra cash is to know the difference between needs and wants, and make a conscious effort to do without those things that you don’t need such as eating out, vacationing, and shopping for discretionary items such as furniture and electronics.
> Work on a plan to pay down debt. Sometimes it’s easier to break a habit when you have a goal you are trying to accomplish. Make a commitment to pay down a portion of your debt within a certain timeframe, and get your family involved in working towards a shared goal. A Debt Management Plan is recommended for those individuals who need more than advice and could benefit from a structured repayment plan. Through a Debt Management Plan, you are able to make one convenient monthly deposit to MMI which is then disbursed to each of your creditors.
A Debt Management Plan may help:
– Reduce interest rates
– Waive late fees
– Lower monthly payments
– Eliminate collection calls
Finally, if your financial obligations become overwhelming and you find yourself losing control, seek help. Your human resource or employee services department may have options available. Community service and counseling agencies are also available and can offer a number of services to assist you with gaining control over your finances.